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China reports increase in environmental pollution punishments

Updated: Dec 27,2017 9:01 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China addressed more environmental pollution cases in the first 11 months, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP).

From January to November, China investigated over 35,600 violations of environmental protection laws and regulations, up more than 102 percent year on year, according to Tian Weiyong, an official with the MEP.

Over 1 billion yuan (about $153 million) in fines was handed out in 1,046 cases, where violators must pay daily fines until they address their wrongdoings, up more than 43 percent and 31 percent year on year, respectively.

Meanwhile, more than 2,500 cases were transferred to public security departments, rising by over 46 percent year on year.

Environmental authorities have ordered production suspension or production cuts in more than 7,800 cases during the same period, according to Tian.

China held more than 6,400 officials in eight provincial-level regions accountable for environmental damage after inspections by central authorities from August to September.

The inspections are part of China’s campaign to fight pollution and environmental damage, as decades of growth have left the country with smog, polluted water and contaminated soil.

Tackling pollution has been listed as one of “the three tough battles” that China aims to win in the next three years, according to the Central Economic Work Conference that concluded last week.

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